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Family Relationships of Non-Binary Young Adults in Québec

Sophie Doucet, Line Chamberland

Research Framework: Based on the life course of young adults with a non-binary sexual orientation or gender identity, this article uses the concepts of intelligibility and chosen family from a queer perspective to analyze the family relationships of these individuals with identities still largely socially misunderstood.

Objectives: This research thus seeks to explore the construction of chosen families among non-binary young adults with good or bad relations with their family of origin, to analyze the relationship they have with their family of origin and their chosen family, and to examine the impact of the (mis)understanding of the family of origin on the creation of a chosen family.

Methodology: Two semi-structured interviews based on life course theory were conducted with 10 young adults self-identifying as non-binary aged between the ages of 18 and 30 and living in the Montreal area.

Results: This study allows us to realize that whether their relationship is perceived as good or bad with their family of origin, non-binary young adults will tend to form a chosen family that will fully understand and accept their identity, unlike their family of origin.

Conclusions: Misunderstanding of non-binary identities in our society affects the relationships of non-binary young adults with their family of origin and influences their decision to create a chosen family.

Contribution: This article addresses some of the gaps in the scientific literature on the family relationships of people with diverse genders and sexualities. Indeed, very few articles are specifically interested in non-binary people.